Most every business is feeling the worldwide major economic disruption brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, but an even bigger disruption Covid-19 has caused is how we do business. These changes in interaction and transaction between a business, their employees, and their clients or customers will likely have an impact long after the pandemic has passed.
So the question begs: what will you do to retool and adapt your business to a post-covid world?
Your Customers are Adapting, So Should You
If you’ve been in a panic about the current business downturn, your first course of action should be stepping away from the books, putting on a mask, and walking around a nearby business district. What you will undoubtedly see is people out shopping with masks on, keeping their distance from one another, but doing their best to lead a normal life in the midst of a pandemic.
Follow their lead. What can you do to adapt your business to a world where your customers have new concerns about their health and safety, but are still trying to move forward? Begin by reexamining the core of your business model and work your way outward. What was your original mission? What is the value you were bringing to the marketplace pre-covid? How can you bring that value to a post-covid marketplace?
Listen to Your Employees
Your employees are your greatest asset and most likely have far more insight into positive changes you can bring to your business than you think. Remember that they share your concerns: they need your business to not only survive but thrive, yet they share the same health and safety fears as your customers or clients. Most likely your employees are the ones interfacing with the public on your behalf and, if so, will have a deeper awareness of your customer’s or client’s concerns and have ideas how to improve the safety of those interactions.
Interaction is indeed the key word in this new era of business. Your employees are on the front lines, so concentrate on your relationship with them. Listening to them and responding to their concerns and ideas will not only bring about positive change with your customers, but help build trust with your team – and that will be critical moving forward.
Put People Above Profit
As mentioned above, the critical way the coronavirus pandemic has impacted business is in how interactions take place between your company, your employees, and your customers. Going forward, your company will be judged by its response to community health concerns and how it innovates to safely serve its customers.
Not putting profit first at a time when profit may be plummeting may seem counterintuitive, but keep in mind, your customers will gravitate to businesses where they can interact, browse, shop, or dine safely. Be that business.
Set an Example for Your Industry
Rather than get mired in worry about simply keeping your business afloat, think of how your business could lead the way in your industry. What changes could you make that your competitors hadn’t considered. Sometimes even the smallest ideas can completely transform an industry, so don’t think that what you do must be expensive, time consuming, or require a complete overhaul of procedure. Usually, impactful innovations are simply new ways of interfacing with a customer base – and that will be critical in a post-covid world.
Step back and look at the big picture. Business owners are often mired in the granular details of their businesses and blindly follow traditional procedures for their industry, missing simple yet creative adaptations that can be made that make it easier for your customers to buy from you, or your clients to hire you. What changes could you make that you could see being made all across your industry?
Technologies, especially those that leverage mobile and web, are without a doubt the best place to start when it comes to retooling your business for the more people-centric, post-covid business landscape. A recurring theme here is searching for new ways to reach, interact, and transact with your customers. Modern technology can greatly expand the options and efficiency with which your customers interface with you, and can be one of the best business retooling investments you make.
A prime example is SMS text marketing. While in the past this may have been a cringeworthy topic due to spamming and unsolicited texts, nowadays many customers prefer this way of interacting with businesses they often frequent. From a simple text they can follow up on an appointment, take advantage of a special offering, or let your employees know that they are outside your business to pick up their purchase.
The technology that will be the most critical in our post-pandemic future will be that which gives customers easier access to products and services with businesses they trust. As mentioned above, put people first and they will happily adapt to new ways of interacting with your business since you have developed a solid trust with them.
Leverage Data and Analytics
Lastly, the businesses that survive and thrive the retooling for a post-covid business landscape will be the ones that leveraged data and analytics to assess the changes they make along the way. If you want to make educated decisions based on past results, the only way to do this is to examine the data from changes you have made. The good news is that in our modern, technologically-oriented world, data can be easily recorded and accessed.
One of the first things our team here at Blink;Tech does when onboarding a new client is to look at where that client is encouraging conversions and making sure there is an analytics platform in place to record those conversions and other interactions with the business’s customers or clients. We take a Build-Promote-Evaluate approach to marketing, which is a procedure whereby we innovate a plan of attack, launch it, assess the results, then make changes based on those results, starting the cycle over again.
This thoughtful approach works perfectly for a business retooling for changes in the marketplace. However, the critical component is having a way to measure your efforts. Analytics are built into many web and mobile platforms, but working with a reputable tech company not only ensures you are able to access the data you need to make good business decisions, but also help you understand the data and innovate more confidently.
Welcome to a New World
The coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly have a lasting effect on how we do business, so thoughtfully retooling for these changes may be the difference between success and failure for your business. This is no time for gut feelings and seat-of-the-pants decisions however, so move forward with a thoughtful, educated boldness. Your customers are depending on you.
If you’d like help retooling your business, contact us today!